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Copyright by Julie V. Watson
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British Columbia
Vancouver Island A Multitude of Great Runs

by Julie V. Watson
the beginning of the Trans Canada

Vancouver Island is a great destination for classic motorcycle touring offering unrivaled viewscapes, safe quality highways, scenic side routes and diverse attractions, accommodations and eateries for every interest and appetite. We received this list of great rides from the department of tourism on the Island and found it a great basis for riding.
Just get out your map, and go exploring.  We did several of these mini trips and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.  We also enjoyed touring from our base in Victoria.
One favourite trip was up the highway to Sooke, and beyond. The run to Port Renfew is not to be missed if you like a challenge, and unique destinations. Awesome run.  And my personal favourite:
Ducan British Columbia is famous for totem poles & wood carving
Heading downtown in Victoria and picking up Marine Drive and Mile 0 of the TransCanada, then following the coast towards Sidney.  Many great spots to stop and enjoy the view, interesting eateries, and rubber-necking to take in the magnificent homes.  Sidney itself is a great stop for a meal.  Do head down to the wharf area.  That’s a marine park out there!  Lots of places to sit, or order a meal overlooking the water.
Get out your map and check out these suggested routes.  
1. Comox Valley to Gold River
Head out to Nootka Sound through the alpine pass by riding the quick trip to Campbell River on the new Inland Island Highway and then heading westward through the mountains to Gold River on misty Nootka Sound. Stop at Strathcona Park Lodge for lunch and enjoy the great views along the way. Head for the wharf located on the Sound just so you haven’t missed getting to the end of the road.

2. Oceanside Route
Take the scenic Oceanside Route from Parksville to Comox Valley and stop in the quaint Oceanside communities of Qualicum Beach, Qualicum Bay, Fanny Bay, Bowser, Union Bay and Royston. Have lunch at the Fanny Bay Inn or the Backstreet Grill in Royston.

Victoria's inter city marina is a great place to buy seafood

3. Comox Peninsula   Mount Washington Loop
Leaving from Comox, enjoy the Oceanside views past Pt. Holmes on the Comox Peninsula, past Seal Bay Regional Park, up to Hamm Road and back to the Inland Island Highway. Then head up the Strathcona Parkway to Mount Washington Alpine Resort. Enjoy a scenic chairlift ride, lunch at one of the great mountain restaurants and then head back down the Parkway to Piercy Road. Finish things off back in Comox at the Edgewater Marine Pub for steak and seafood and some hot live music!

4. Nanaimo and Area
This ferry terminus is housed in a quaint town where we traditionally get lost.  From here you can do a  loop of the island in one day and stop in at art shops, marinas, parks, petroglyphs and pubs.

5. Gulf Island Hopping
Traveling from one of the Gulf Islands to the next would make for a relaxing yet fun filled adventure. For more on the Gulf Islands visit: www.vancouverisland.travel/gulf islands

6. Cross Island
Driving from Victoria North   Everything is spectacular. Shortly after leaving Victoria you will hit the
Mom's in Sooke is a favourite stop with bikers
Malahat. Named after the Malahat First Nations, this rugged region of heavy forest and steep cliffs is transversed by one of the most beautiful roadways in the world. First cut as cattle trail in 1861, it was upgraded to wagon road standards in 1884, and became a paved road in 1911. It climbs to a summit of 356meters. You will the pass through the Cowichan Valley   which is known for its culinary treats (farm and wine country). You will pass by a town made famous by its murals, and a small historic  town by the sea. You will go through a city rich in First Nations History, before arriving in the Central Island region including the city of Nanaimo known as the Harbour City. Once past Nanaimo, you will reach what is known as the Oceanside region where you can take the scenic Oceanside Route from Parksville to Comox Valley. From Parksville can either continue north to Port Hardy which is as far north as you can drive on Vancouver Island, or you can make the drive to Tofino, through Cathedral Groove (an ancient old growth forest) to beautiful beaches and a rugged coastline.
For maps and all kinds of information go to www.vancouverisland.com
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